We Build On Top of the Old

We build on top of the old
Rather than removing the unwanted.
Below Five Points
Another century comes alive,
Tanneries, tenements, saloons,
All buried beneath our feet
Where we find them
Still and waiting.
Theaters and oyster houses,
Danger and death,
Described by Dickens as
Reeking everywhere with dirt and filth.
Perhaps that's why it was abandoned,
Crushed and razed,
So New York could start fresh.
But the remnants remain,
Finally offering up their relics,
Barrel slats
Pearl tea sets
Condiment and ink bottles
Yellow ware spittoons
Animal skeletons
Clay pipes
Bone lice combs,
All submerged against each other
Hoping to be discovered
To offer testament to a rowdy gang-infested time.
We remove these vestiges,
Cart them away to temporary storage in
The basement at 6 World Trade Center
Where they are given up to dust
When the towers fall,
And build atop them again.

 © Poem Fix 2012

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